Griffith Park Wildfire Evokes Diversity of Opinion

Saturday, June 30, 2007 |

Spend a few minutes visiting your Neighborhood Fire Station, and you'll soon find that we are people just like you, humans who strive for - but sometimes fall short of perfection, especially in our daily skirmish with Mother Nature's fiercest elements.

While many of you offered kind praise for our handling of a recent wildfire in Griffith Park, we find it important to share that not everyone remains pleased with our effort battling the fire, especially some local bloggers...

Don't Yell Out Fire in Uncrowded Griffith Park:

"I can understand why homeowners have been nervous nellies about pointing fingers at the fire department, really I can. Who needs firemen most? Desperate housewives and homeowners. But the LA Fire Department did such a craptacular job in the recent Griffith Park fire that maybe it’s time for someone to point a finger. So I will... (more...)"


We encourage you to read the remainder of that post with an open mind and to politely share your viewpoint and more importantly, your personal experience and suggestions via comments to her blog. If there's something we should be doing different or better, we're all ears.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAX Runway Closed Following Air China Incident

Friday, June 29, 2007 |

On Friday, June 29, 2007 at 2:52 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, Crash 80, Foam 180, 280 and 380 all under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Greenup, responded to an Aircraft Incident on Runway 25L at LAX International Airport.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a Full alarm standby on Runway 25L in the early morning hours at LAX. An Air China 400 series 747 had taken off, when the next aircraft in line for take-off noticed a significant amount of debris on the runway and immediately contacted the radio tower. The Air China 747 circled and returned safely to the airport with a significant shower of sparks and debris.

The plane experienced two tires and a wheel assembly which had separated from the aircraft, exposing metal parts that came in contact with the runway producing shrapnel which caused damage to the rear fuselage and severed hydraulic lines. The plane's fuselage also suffered a "football" sized hole and several significant gashes. The Air China 747 carried a "combi" load, consisting of 223 passengers, 4 pilots, the crew and large cargo. Before the passengers or cargo could be removed from the plane, stabilization measures had to be undertaken. With the assistance of United Airlines and their "tail stand", LAX Airfield Operations, Construction/Maintenance Services and Fire Department personnel were able to stabilize the aircraft and safely evacuate the passengers.

There were no reported injuries to passengers or sworn personnel. Runway 25L will remain closed until approximately 10:00 A.M. The temporary closure will not impact airport operations.

(video)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Statement Issued Regarding Domestic Terrorism Incident in Los Angeles

Thursday, June 28, 2007 |

The following statement is from the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section, a member agency of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force...

"On the morning of June 24, 2007, a joint agency contingent consisting of the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the University of California at Los Angeles Police responded to a reported incendiary device on South Loring Avenue in the West Los Angeles/UCLA area.

The investigating agencies are viewing this incident as an act of domestic terrorism and an investigation is being conducting by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. At this time, no further information is being provided due to the ongoing investigation."


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Resources Sent To Newhall Pass Fire

|

Pursuant of a long-standing Automatic Aid Agreement, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned air and ground resources to the Los Angeles County Fire Department in their battle against a brush fire near the Newhall Pass, that borders the northern city limits of Los Angeles.

These sixty-nine members of the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the wildfire as a result of the blaze being in a formally identified 'Mutual Threat Zone'.

The City of Los Angeles remains fully protected by the use of additional staff and reserve apparatus to cover foreseeable local needs, and we remind local residents that resources can be recalled to our City as necessary.

The men and women of the LAFD ask motorists to remain watchful for these and other convoys of emergency apparatus, and to be mindful of the space necessary for them to safely maneuver on local roads and highways.

Pursuant of protocol, all public and media information regarding this incident, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Welcome FEMA's New Disability Coordinator

Saturday, June 23, 2007 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department welcome Cindy Lou Daniel as the new disability coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Ms. Daniel will be responsible for providing guidance and coordination on emergency planning requirements and relief efforts for individuals with disabilities.

As someone living with disability, Cindy has worked to empower people with disabilities for more than 19 years. Most recently, Ms. Daniel worked at the National Organization on Disability in their Emergency Preparedness Initiative.

She conducted research on the effects Hurricane Katrina had on people with disabilities and created an informational help desk.

Of particular note has been her distinguished service on the Homeland Security National Task Force on Emergency Planning, where her insight inspired many members of America's Fire Service to expand their vision and consideration.

To learn of the national progress being made to support the emergency preparedness needs of those living with disability, please visit:

www.disabilitypreparedness.gov


With a known resident population exceeding 4 million, the City of Los Angeles is home to many with special needs. In an effort to support those living locally with disability, the City's Department on Disability has created a 45-page Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities booklet. To learn more:

www.lacity.org/dod



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Operation Lifesaver's Safety Tips for Summer Travel

Thursday, June 21, 2007 |

Look, Listen and Live!Approximately every two hours, a person or a vehicle is struck by a train in the United States.

Operation Lifesaver, the national, non-profit, rail safety program wants to help summer travelers with simple precautions to take when walking near or driving across railroad tracks.

As summer travel season begins, Operation Lifesaver offers a 'Top 10' list of tips to drivers and pedestrians who may not have train tracks near their homes, but find themselves around tracks and trains while on vacation:

  • Trains are everywhere. Freight, passenger, commuter, and light rail trains are found in both densely populated cities and rural locations.

  • Always expect a train. Trains can run any track, at any time, in either direction.

  • Cross only at designated locations. The only safe and legal place to be on a railroad track is at a designated crossing - and even there it is important to stay alert and follow directions.

  • Don't rely on track vibration. Modern technology means that you can not hear or feel an oncoming train in time to clear the tracks safely.

  • Never go around a lowered crossing gate or through a flashing light. These devices indicate that an oncoming train is imminent. If you suspect the gate is malfunctioning, call the railroad using the toll free emergency notification number posted at the crossing or call local law enforcement.

  • Trains are wider than their tracks. To ensure clearance and to protect yourself from flying debris, always stand or stop at least 15 feet from the track.

  • Trains can't stop or swerve like cars. It can take a freight train traveling 55 miles per hour more than a mile to stop.

  • You can't gauge the speed of an approaching train. An optical illusion caused by their large mass (freight trains average 12 million pounds) makes trains seem to be moving more slowly than they actually are.

  • Don't get caught on the tracks. Before driving across tracks, be sure there is room on the other side to completely clear both the tracks and the train's overhang.

  • If you stall, get out immediately - and get away! Move everyone out of the car and away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train approaching. Call the toll free emergency number posted near the crossing or local law enforcement immediately.


  • In 2006, according to preliminary U.S. government statistics, there were 2,908 automobile collisions at railroad crossings across America, 366 motorists lost their lives, and 997 people were injured or killed across the United States while walking or playing on railroad tracks or track right of way.

    Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property. It has a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety.

    For more information, log on to:

    www.oli.org



    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Brush Fire Quickly Handled in the Tujunga Area

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 |

    On Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 2:25 PM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 3 LAFD Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 2 Angeles National Forest camp crews and 1 Battalion Chief, 4 L.A. County Fire camp crews and 1 Battalion Chief, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman, responded to a Brush Fire at 11120 N. Oro Vista Av. in the Tujunga area.

    After receiving several frantic 911 calls, the OCD Dispatch Center dispatched a brush assignment to an area near a previous burn in the Tujunga area. The responding men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department were joined, through Automatic Aid, by the Angeles National Forest Firefighters and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, forming a Unified Command.

    The first arriving Los Angeles Firefighters found one acre of medium grass/brush burning. With no wind to aid the fire, firefighters established firelines along the flanks and with the aid of the aerial attack and the aggressive work of hand crews, it took firefighters 50 minutes to call a knockdown. The fire did advance up a small hill towards a previous burn and this "natural" fire break assisted in providing additional protection to structures in the area. No structures were threatened and no evacuations were necessary.

    The fire was contained to three acres and the cause is undetermined at this time. There was only one minor injury reported to an ANF hand crew member.


    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Collaborative Effort in Santa Monica Major Emergency Fire

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007 |

    On Monday, June 18, 2007 at 7:21 PM, 26 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Dozers 1 and 2, Heavy Equipment 1, Southern California Edison and Gas, Santa Monica Prevention 1, 2 and 10, LAFD Agency Representative Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas, all under the direction of Santa Monica Battalion Chief Carl Bjerke and LAFD Battalion Chief Mark Stormes responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1928 14th St. in the Santa Monica area.

    The initial 911 call into the OCD dispatch center indicated a commercial building was burning. The first arriving Santa Monica resources found a two story commercial building with fire through the roof. Within minutes, the roof of the structure collapsed. With a Mutual Aid agreement in place, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department began the move up rotation in an effort to continue fire coverage for Santa Monica residents. Move up companies were quickly utilized as they became available in the Santa Monica area for use at the Major Emergency Structure Fire. The two Area A Coordinators combined resources during initial firefighting operations to contain the fire to the fire building and limit the fire's extension to surrounding exposures. Eighteen minutes later, the second floor showed signs of pending collapse and a collaborative decision was made to cease all interior firefighting and make an aggressive defensive stand.

    It took approximately 180 firefighters from the two agencies, 3 hours and 25 minutes to get a knockdown. The business, Imperial Media Services, reproduced CD's and had a large storage of compact disc cases. The cause and dollar loss of the incident is undetermined, pending the complete investigation by the Santa Monica Arson Unit. A Santa Monica Firefighter sustained a minor leg injury and was assessed, then transported to an area Santa Monica Hospital.



    (video) (photos)


    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    'World's Best Salad Dressing' and other LAFD Secrets

    Sunday, June 17, 2007 |

    LAFD Firefighters Cookbook. Click to learn more...The men and women of the LAFD are pleased to announce the public debut of the "Los Angeles Firefighters Family Cookbook".

    This sturdy kitchen-ready volume contains hundreds of firehouse recipes from active and retired Los Angeles Firefighters and their families. It makes a perfect gift, or better yet, a great addition to your own kitchen.

    Best of all, 100% of proceeds from your purchase will benefit the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen's Fund.

    ...and what would a firehouse cookbook be without an authentic LAFD logo apron?

    Well, what are you waiting for?

    Buy the cookbook and apron right now with just the click of a mouse, or browse the entire on-line catalog of LAFD apparel and gift items sold at Dalmatian's Firehouse. To learn more, visit:

    www.lafd.org/store.htm


    View a television news video about the cookbook by clicking here.


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Mystery of the Missing Nozzle Solved: At Starbucks

    Friday, June 15, 2007 |

    From our friends at blogging.la:

    "Heading down to Starbucks at LaBrea and Sunset, I found this fire nozzle abandoned on the side of the road. The only clue to its owners was "Engine 8" etched into the metal on a couple different spots. An initial cursory web search turned up the Porter Ranch station, but they told me it was more likely a County's nozzle, and probably a station in West Hollywood... (more...)"


    We'd like to thank David Markland for his act of civic kindness. Though the nozzle proved not to belong to our agency, it was our pleasure to return it to a truly appreciative crew at the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD).

    Mr. Markland adamantly declined the offer by LAFD Engine Company 41 to buy him cup of coffee on the spot. We hope however, that he'll soon make good on his open invitation to join Captain Mark Arnold and the 'B' Platoon crew at LAFD Station 41 for a freshly-brewed cup whenever he has the time.

    Not only are fire nozzles essential to our vocation, but Mr. Markland's thoughtfulness and sense of personal responsibility saved the crew at LACoFD Station 8 many hours of paperwork - and the taxpayers of Los Angeles County hundreds of dollars.

    City of Los Angeles residents who find misplaced Fire Department equipment or supplies are encouraged follow David's example and contact us via 3-1-1.


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Fatality Traffic on the North Hollywood Freeway

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007 |

    On Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 6:13 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, CHP, Cal Trans, the Coroner's office and an MTA Supervisor, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Brian Cummings responded to an Auto vs Bike on the NB 170 FY x Burbank Bl. in the North Hollywood area.

    The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a reported traffic accident involving an MTA bus and a motorcyclist on the northbound 170 Freeway. On arrival, Fire Department resources found the freeway littered with "basketball" size cement debris, caused by the force of the MTA bus striking the center divider. Six to seven additional vehicles traveling the 170 Freeway collided causing subsequent accidents in their efforts to avoid the large flying debris. A sigalert was announced of the pending freeway shutdown.

    Reports from the scene indicate the MTA bus and motorcycle were traveling northbound, when the motorcycle and its rider were thrust into oncoming southbound traffic and struck by a southbound vehicle. The rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Quick and thorough medical assessments of the involved vehicles found 10 patients with a variety of minor complaints of injuries. All were transported to area hospitals. There were no passengers aboard the MTA bus.

    The southbound 170 Freeway will be closed to traffic until the conclusion of the accident investigation by the California Highway Patrol. The Coroners office will determine the cyclist's identity and cause of death.

    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    The Dog Whisperer Part II: Wilshire The Fire Dog

    Monday, June 11, 2007 |

    As some of you may remember, a small but energetic puppy was carried to a Neighborhood Fire Station in Los Angeles by a ten year old girl on a cold night in March of 2006.

    The young girl bravely rang the doorbell of LAFD Station 29 and explained that she could no longer keep her best friend, because her apartment was too small for the quickly growing puppy.

    Though the Firefighters wanted to help, the best they could do was to provide a referral to the local animal shelter - where the girl and her family learned that only one week's care could be provided.

    Worried for her best friend, the girl insisted her parents take her and the bright-eyed Dalmatian back to the Fire Station because she was certain the crew from Fire Station 29 would rescue him.

    ...and so, with the help of legendary 'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan, the LAFD career of Wilshire the Fire Dog began.

    Now you may think you recall the story, but since our last visit, the story of Wilshire has become as global as the internet.

    Please join us in sharing word of Wilshire's new website. We think you'll be amazed:

    www.wilshirethefiredog.org


    Must-See Video: "A Day With Wilshire"


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Words of Wisdom From One of LAFD's Finest

    Sunday, June 10, 2007 |

    LAFD Battalion Chief Evan WilliamsA recent retiree of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Battalion Chief Evan Williams was kind enough to include me as a recipient of an e-mail he sent on his final day of duty.

    It is my honor to share his inspiring words of wisdom...

    "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my friends and co-workers, both on the LAFD and many other departments across the Nation, for all of the kind words and well-wishes in regards to my retirement after 33 years of service.

    The LAFD, and the fire service in general, is the best thing that ever happened to me. I love the job and I love the guys. I looked forward to going to work every day and I looked forward to the fun and the challenges associated with the greatest job in the world. I'm really going to miss it and I'm looking forward to keeping up with what's going on by following the Battalion 14 blog and dropping by the Station every now and then for some kitchen table stories.

    I recently received the following e-mail from Darrin in Chula Vista, CA;

    Chief Williams, congratulations on your retirement. I have enjoyed reading and learning from the Battalion 14 blog. Do you have any advice/tips for success for a young Captain, especially from someone with as much leadership/command experience as yourself. Any help is appreciated. Again, congratulations on your retirement and thanks for the great work on the blog. Fraternally, Darrin

    Darrin, I'm certainly not an expert in this area but I would like to repeat some of the advice that has been given to me through the years by a number of people that I highly respect. Nothing trick here...common sense advice that holds true not only for Officers but for everyone at every level.

    1. Know your job. This single quality will outweigh all others when it comes to earning the respect of your people. Knowing your job enables you to walk the walk and truly lead by example. It allows you to make wise decisions and helps you fulfill your prime responsibility at the scene of an emergency - provide for the safety of your crew.

    2. Treat people the way you would expect to be treated. How basic. You can read every leadership book in the world and it still boils down to this. You've studied, passed some tests and now you find yourself an Officer. This does not give you the right to suddenly start treating people differently. The fact is it demands that you treat people with respect and consideration. Isn't that how you would like to be treated?

    3. Make safety your top priority. Get 'em there safely and get 'em home safely. This goes hand in hand and with knowing your job. You better take safety seriously because the lives of your crew are at stake. We have a tendancy to downplay it but our job really is dangerous and believe me you do not ever want to contribute to a situation that could compromise the safety of your people. You have to train with safety in mind and make every decision with safety in mind. If you find yourself worrying about the safety of your crew then your priorities are in order. This is the life of a Fire Officer.

    4. Know your people. You can't know what your people need if you sit in your office all day. You need to find the balance point between forcing yourself on your crew and being a non-caring pencil pushing loser. I honestly believe that many Officers are ineffective simply because they don't take the time to learn what their people need. Get out from behind the desk and walk among'st em. You can get to know them and they can get to know you. It will make them better and it will make you better.

    5. Perfect the art of listening. You can make good decisions on your own. You can make better decisions if you learn to listen to those around you. Why limit yourself. I once had a Staff Assistant that I highly respected. He had an amazing ability to stop me from making stupid decisions by using one phrase; "Are you sure you want to do that?" I listened, I learned and I found out that his wisdom was invaluable in making me a better Officer and a better decision maker.

    6. Put your people in a position to succeed. This comes in knowing your role as an Officer. You're not there to lord over them or use them to try and make yourself look better. Your duty is to be both a team leader and a member of the team. You need to have the ability to size up a situation, emergency or non-emergency, and develop a plan or solution that insures your crew can succeed in their mission. Never forget that it's your crew that gets things done.

    7. Give credit where credit is due. I learned as a young Officer that everything I gave to my crew came back ten-fold. Your people will literally bust their ass for you. They don't do it for atta boys or accolades but I guarantee that a few words of encouragement or thanks for a job well done will go a long way towards making them know that you appreciate their efforts.

    8. Back 'em. It's that simple. You back your people when they're right and you back your people when they're wrong. If you're going to be an Officer who is respected you have to be willing to lay it on the line for your people. You have to believe that your people are important and you're not. You have to be willing to go to bat for each and every one of them on duty or off duty and you have to be willing to do it 24/7. You have to be willing to take blame at times when it's beneficial for your people and detremental to you. If you're willing to do this you will be an effective leader and an Officer who gets the most out of his people.

    9. Be consistent. When you become an Officer you give away your right to "have a bad day". Nobody wants to work for somebody with multiple personalities. You can't be moody and you can't be unpredictable. Your crew needs to know how you will react in every situation and they have to know that you're steady and reliable when it comes to your decision making.

    10. Trust your people. Trust is a two way thing. Too often Officers expect their crew to trust them in their duties when they fail to trust their crew. Here's a newsflash...we all make mistakes. Errors know no rank. You need to cultivate a basic belief that your crew wants to do what's right and be there to assist them. You're not there to constantly dwell on the negatives and if you think this makes you a good Officer you're dead wrong.

    Darrin, good luck in your new role..... (Retired) B/C Evan Williams"



    Chief Williams, thanks for sharing those words of wisdom, and for making so many of us at the LAFD the best that we can be.

    It was a profound honor to serve under your Command.


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Hidden Treasure: The LAFD Musem in San Pedro

    |

    From our friends at That's Crispy...

    "In the heart of the harbor district of Los Angeles, also known as San Pedro, is an historic gem - Old Fire Station 36. It takes up much of the first floor of the San Pedro City Hall, a building that has held a commanding view over Harbor Boulevard for nearly 100 years.

    Old Fire Station 36 isn't a fire station any more, but it is the site of the newest museum in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society recently held a ribbon cutting to open the new museum which boasts one of the orginal fire engines that responded to alarms out of this old station - a 1928 Seagrave. Also on display, old diving suits from before the days of scuba gear, exhibits highlighting some of spectacular fires the LAFD fought in the harbor, and artifacts of shipboard firefighting throughout the history of the fire service."


    Kindly take a moment to watch this video:



    ...and plan on bringing your friends and family to visit the Museum at Old Fire Station 36 any Saturday from 9:00AM - 3:00PM.


    Los Angeles Harbor Fire Museum
    Old Fire Station 36
    630 Beacon Street
    San Pedro, CA 90731


    The museum is operated by the non-profit Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society (LAFDHS), which also maintains the popular LAFD Museum and Memorial in Hollywood.

    For information about visiting, supporting or volunteering at either site, call (323)464-2727 or click:

    www.lafdmuseum.org



    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Los Angeles Fire Chief Responds to Jury Verdict

    Friday, June 08, 2007 |

    From the Office of the Fire Chief...

    FIRE CHIEF DOUGLAS BARRY RESPONSE TO THE FRANK LIMA VERSUS THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES VERDICT

    "This case highlights the difficulties and challenges that face the Fire Department. As Fire Chief of the Department, I am concerned with the impact the verdict and the amount of the award has on the Fire Department.

    The Department remains committed to embracing diversity and maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

    The Fire Department, with the support of the Mayor continues to move forward with the creation of a Professional Standards Bureau that will address the Department’s discipline issues in a consistent, fair, and expedient manner."
    # # #


    Media Contact:
    Captain Antoine McKnight
    Community Service Unit
    Los Angeles Fire Department
    Phone: (213) 978-3824
    Cell: (213) 359-9415

    Local Business Suffers Extensive Damage in Greater Alarm Fire

    Monday, June 04, 2007 |

    On Monday, June 4, 2007 at 9:26 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and DOT, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Jack Wise responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 3201 S. San Pedro St. in the South Los Angeles/Newton area.

    The look on the faces at the OCD Dispatch center said it all when the call for help came over the radio. "This is LAPD airship requesting resources for a structure fire in two, 1 story commercials, 25 foot by 150 foot, with fire showing through the roof." Can you feel the palms getting all sweaty, muscles tightening and adrenaline starting to get the old heart pumping?

    On arrival, Fire Department resources recognized the compromised roof of the 25 foot by 75 foot structure and quickly initiated forcible entry, opening all access points for the aggressive use of hand lines to attack the fire. The only exposure was a one story, Type IV metal clad building used for storage, that suffered smoke and heat damage to its contents. It took the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department only 14 minutes to gain control of the blaze.

    The business, Botanica Store Toribio, suffered extensive content damage. The business held candles, religious artifacts and exotic birds. Six large birds did not survive the fire. The cause of the fire is undetermined and the dollar loss was estimated at approximately $150,000 ($50,000 structure, and $100,000 contents).

    Thanks PD. Now you know how we feel when we see a lot of the red stuff!

    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Firefighters Battle Stubborn Fire in Highland Park Home

    Sunday, June 03, 2007 |

    On Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 6:52 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, Building & Safety, DWP and L.A. County Health, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Chris Logan responded to a Structure Fire at 1074 N. Milwaukee Av. in the Highland Park area.

    The first arriving Fire Department resources on scene found a small amount of grass burning which had extended into the attic of the single family residence located on the property. A preliminary interior search revealed all occupants had self evacuated from the structure.

    First responders “ramped up” operations of companies assigned to interior firefighting and roof top ventilation realizing the exposure problem if the fire extended into the grass and surrounding structures. The first ventilation hole revealed heavy, thick and pressurized smoke. Could there be two ceilings in this slightly remodeled home? The persistent fire reignited several times as firefighters continued their defensive efforts in gaining control of the blaze.

    It took the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department 28 minutes to get a knockdown on the stubborn attic fire. As the smoke cleared, a large quantity of aerosol cans, containing different types of flammable liquids, were discovered illegally stored in the attic space. A Hazardous Materials Squad was dispatched to assist in the identification of the containers.

    Assistance from other agencies was also requested. DWP was notified that a two block area around the incident, serving approximately 30 single family residences, was without power. Service was restored to the area around midnight. Building and Safety will determine the structural integrity of the residence. L.A. County Health will handle the disposal and clean up of the illegal storage.

    The cause of the fire was accidental and dollar loss is estimated at $120,000 ($80,000 structure, $20,000 contents). There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The 72 year old female occupant of the residence was transported to an area hospital after being advised she could not remain in the home for safety reasons. The occupants of will seek temporary housing with family members.

    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Seven Displaced in Early Morning Greater Alarm Fire

    Friday, June 01, 2007 |

    On Friday, June 1, 2007 at 4:33 AM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, the Department of Water and Power, DOT, the Red Cross and the Gas Co. all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 7002 N. Havenhurst Av. in the West Van Nuys area.

    Fire Department resources responded to a reported structure fire in a 2 story, garden style, apartment complex. First arriving companies found one unit on the second floor with heavy smoke and fire showing. Additional recon of the building indicated the fire had extended into the attic space. A well coordinated and aggressive defensive attack was initiated. Ventilation was slowed by a gas fed fire, which resulted from the melting of PVC piping which fed the roof top AC/Heating unit. Once utilities were shut down, ventilation operations commenced.

    The nine unit apartment complex suffered damage to only four units from firefighting operations during the attempt to gain access to the attic fire. As a result, seven adults (6 males and 1 female) were displaced and the Red Cross was notified to address their immediate housing needs.

    The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department extinguished the fire in just 32 minutes, and there were no civilian or firefighter injuries. The cause of this fire is under active investigation and the preliminary dollar loss is listed at $175,000 ($150,000 structure, $25,000 contents). DWP and the Gas Company were called to address the compromise to the electrical system for the building and the gas feed to the AC/Heating unit.

    Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
    Los Angeles Fire Department